To being with, I would address the makers of this film with a big Thank You for bringing this utmost important topic of Menstrual Hygiene on the big screens!
In a developing country like India where a major chunk of the nation still abides by the stereotypical norms and taboos that exist in the society, R. Balki's Pad Man couldn't have come in a better time than this where the nation is finally accepting the changes with somewhat open arms!
Inspired by Arunachalam Muruganantham, this story is about a man (Laxshmikant Chauhan) who is on a mission for the menstrual hygiene of his wife (Gayatri) while she uses a dirty piece of cloth during her periods. This doesn't affect Laxmikant much until the doctor informs him about the dangerous illness that could occur using the unhygienic cloth. Being a middle-class man for whom it becomes impossible to buy a 55 Rs packet of sanitary napkins every month but the health of his wife being his utmost concern gives rise to an inspiring journey to create low-cost pads for his wife and the women of his village.
His constant attempts to make a pad with open end failures lands him in trouble and he is thus abandoned from his village for his 'obscene acts'. What follows is a fascinating chain of events that makes you proud of that man.
A massive problem like menstrual hygiene is depicted with utmost ease and interest-building pointers by Balki. There are few scenes which are heart-warming in nature that attach an instant connection to the film. Balki has championed in carving this social drama flick by adding light-hearted humour but without playing with the informative aspect of the film.
The first half: The story in its first 15 minutes starts by directly touching upon the integral issue but loses its pace before the interval.
Akshay Kumar as Lakshmikant Chauhan -Social drama films and Akshay Kumar go together and the actor has yet again given a commendable performance. His emotions have come out brilliantly onscreen that makes you travel with him on his persistent journey for the women of India.
Radhika Apte as Gayatri -The actress who otherwise is applauded for her roles has surprisingly given a mellow act in this movie. But her chemistry with Akshay is honest that saves her from an otherwise average performance.
Sonam Kapoor as Pari - She plays a perfect friend/supporter to Akshay while delivering her finest performance. The actress has managed to thoroughly adapt herself to the character while being the pillar of strength in this movie.
Akshay's monologue while delivering a speech at the United States remains intact and impactful. Akshay conveys the core message of the film in a powerful voice. You'll find some quirky and motivational dialogues from Akshay, some emotional ones from Radhika and some much-needed positive ones from Sonam.
The Final Verdict:
Padman in all senses is a convincing film which by the end of its story embodies a ray of hope in the hearts of the people about the significance of female's menstrual hygiene in the rural areas of the nation.